Writing for Entrepreneur.com, Martin Zwilling observes that many entrepreneurs believe their business idea will carry their startup, while most investors think that the idea is worthless without the right execution. This, he insists, means that selling yourself is more important than selling your idea.
Following advice laid out in the book Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success by Dan Schawbel, Zwilling highlights some areas of entrepreneurship that require self-promotion:
• Treat your reputation as your best asset. According to Zwilling, what people think you can do is more important than what you’ve done or what title you give yourself. You must show you are worthy of trust.
• Manage your whole image. Zwilling points out that the internet and social networks mean that all areas of your life can come under scrutiny. Remember that small things can have an impact on your reputation or brand.
• Stay connected. Zwilling observes that a social economy has replaced the information economy. What you know is less important than your ability to work with other people to solve their problems. You will find yourself irrelevant if you don’t build a network.
• One person can make a big difference. It only takes one key investor, customer or distributor to ensure you stay ahead of competitors. Effective self-promotion can help you get them on board.
• Accomplishments beat hours. The author explains: “If you want to grow your business, stop thinking about how many hours you work, and aim for more milestones and traction.”
• Work with people of all ages. Each generation communicates in a different way and has a different view of the marketplace. You need to be adaptable and flexible enough to take this into account.